India has begun its first human trials of a vaccine designed to prevent HIV-AIDS.

Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss says the "investigational" vaccine is being tested on 30 healthy male and female volunteers in a first phase of the trial.

The first phase testing began a year ago in Germany and Belgium, and it is aimed at determining the safety of the vaccine and to see if it produces immune responses.

The trials are being sponsored by the New York based group known as the International Aids Vaccine Initiative.

India has five million people infected with the HIV virus, second only to South Africa.

The World Bank has warned that the disease could become the single largest cause of death in India by 2033.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.